What do city people have to say about life? And where do they get their inspiration from? I mean, poets around here don’t go outside to the open fields and admire blooming nature, nor do they chase gazelles up a wild forest. And I don’t think there are many attics in Israel, or feather pens for that matter.
Actually, I wonder what urban life is all about, anyway. Working 9 to 5 (or 7), going out to pubs, listening to avant-garde music, meeting snazzy people, refusing to settle down, livin’ la vida loca â€¦ Or maybe â€“ being tired and lonely, trying to make ends meet, losing consciousness as well as the will to liveâ€¦?
Oh, all those damned clichÃ©s.
About city life in Israel I can tell you that it ain’t L.A. or Harlem, so you shouldn’t expect any Bukowski or Langston Hughes, nor is this smoggy London, so no Blake either. But I guess it is indeed a sort of an insane mixture of constant change, infinite possibilities, high aspirations, Great Expectations, self-consciousness, loneliness and depression. Add to it some booze, some drugs, and a lot of sex. Let’s seeâ€¦
The buildings are grey
And so is my life
Shall I go out and play
Or finally find myself
Well, you can’t say I didn’t try (don’t bother with the meter! This is a modern piece of poetry, after all).
â€¦Want to know what real Israeli poets think of urban life? Do yourself a favour and read David Avidan.
And if you’re around and feel comfy enough with your Hebrew, visit the “Library” branch of the bookstore chain Tzomet Sefarim (“the Book Junction”), where contemporary poets will be reading their poems inspired by and dedicated to the city.
Wednesday, 27th Sep., 19:30. Dizengoff Center Mall
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